Honda’s Acura Division has announced that its vehicle production is now back to normal following a setback caused by the Japan earthquake in March 2011. Acura told its US dealers that it should be able to distribute all ordered vehicles by March 2012. Last year, the division only sold 123,299 vehicles, as sales were limited by the supply problem in Japan.
This year, Acura becomes ambitious, aiming to sell 180,000 vehicles and to increase customer satisfaction with the help of its dealers. The division also wants to reclaim the top spot in the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, wherein it placed third in 2011 at 89 problems per 100 vehicles.
Lexus topped the study with 73 problems per 100 vehicles and Honda at second with 86. Jeff Conrad, general manager of the Acura Division, said inventory shortages due to the Japan earthquake forced dealers to "get creative" to get the vehicles customers want.
Conrad revealed that the shortages required dealers to do many more trades than they usually do, but “they got through it and cooperated with one another." This year, Acura will roll out new products to dealers, including the Acura NSX advertised during the Super Bowl XLVI as well as the ILX compact sedan that is based on Honda's global Civic platform. Acura was able to get the cooperation of its dealers with its 180,000 sales goal. Mac Churchill, vice chairman of the Acura National Dealer Advisory Board, said, "They showed us the advertising they'll use to achieve it, and dealers really liked the ads."